The following guest post is from Joshua Waldman, author of JOB SEARCHING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA FOR DUMMIES. Joshua is the founder of Career Enlightenment which offers professional LinkedIn profile writing services and career advice for the modern job seeker.
LinkedIn is the place to search for a job and change careers. But, when and where do you tell people you’re looking for a job, or changing careers, using your LinkedIn profile?
Read this LinkedIn headline and tell me what you think:
Creative problem solver with a committed heart currently seeking a position with a company where I can make a difference!
Personally, I probably wouldn’t click that profile.
Often, people struggle with knowing where on their profile to tell the world they are “seeking a position.”
If you are an active career changer, I’m sure you’ve thought about it too. If you do it wrong, you will not only scare away every recruiter who reads your profile, you will probably have a hard time building your network as well.
The Reality of Using LinkedIn
Let’s face facts, recruiters tend to hunt for people who already have jobs. Saying you are “seeking” in the headline means a recruiter won’t even bother clicking on your profile from a search results page.
Second, it’s human nature to be concerned with our own problems, not others. The fact that you are seeking does nothing for me. You aren’t offering value to me. You are not giving me a reason to be excited about you. As a job seeker, you are one of millions.
Now that doesn’t mean you have to lie or hide the fact that you are indeed seeking work. It just means you have to spring it on people at the right time.
Are using your LinkedIn profile to change careers? Here’s where to share it!
Not in Your Headline!
You need to earn the right to get someone’s attention on LinkedIn. It’s not something you can take for granted.
Since the headline is pretty much the only snippet of information someone has on you when they are searching, or determining to connect back with you, your goal here is to get the click. Period.
Your headline should sell the click. That means make it clear what you can do for them. I want to see a quick job title, and then a very short statement of value. Let them know you understand their pain and their goals and that you can help them.
Here’s a headline from one of my trainers, Cara Lee, where she did just that:
Adult Educator, Speaker and Trainer Creating Experiential Learning to Maximize Learner Success
What does she do? “Adult educator,” i.e., teacher or instructor.
What problem does she solve? Boring classroom experiences.
So Where Do I Tell People I’m Seeking a New Job?
The easy answer is at the end of your LinkedIn profile summary. If someone has bothered to read until then, you’ve earned the right to ask.
After all, telling someone you’re “seeking” is a form of asking for help, isn’t it?
If you follow a profile summary format like this one, you’ll have positioned yourself as someone unique and valuable.
The call to action at the very end gives you a place to let the world know you need help, and here’s how someone can contact you.
For example, let’s say you follow my four-step formula for writing your summary. The last step, the call to action, can go something like this:
I’m looking for a medical instruments company at the cutting edge, where I can lead a sales territory and make a difference. If you are looking for someone with energy, creative problem-solving skills, and unstoppable sales ambition, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tying It All Together
To summarize, don’t use your headline to say you’re looking to change careers; use the last sentence of your summary. Expert tip: when you make these updates to your profile, let LinkedIn broadcast them to your network. When you do it this way, you may find droves of people coming out and offering you their hand.
Readers, are you using your LinkedIn profile to change careers? Have you tried this approach? We’d love to hear how it has worked for you. Feel free to comment below.
Originally published as Using Your LinkedIn Profile to Change Careers.